Update on the latest sports

AP

NBA FINALS

Warriors lean on history with a chance to close out Celtics

BOSTON (AP) — Stephen Curry and the Warriors have been within a game of clinching a championship in three of Golden State’s previous five trips to the NBA Finals during his 13-year NBA career. Curry says he’ll lean on that experience when he takes the court at Boston’s TD Garden Thursday night for Game 6. The Warriors have a 3-2 lead on the Celtics.

The stakes will be equally high for the Celtics, who will try to force a Game 7. Celtics star Jayson Tatum said they’re optimistic, given how they’ve had Game 7 wins in the two prior playoff series.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr is a victory away from a ninth NBA championship. He won five titles in uniform with Chicago and San Antonio. Add in three as Golden State’s boss on the bench, and he is the first person in NBA history to win at least three championships as a player and a coach.

USGA-US OPEN

McIllroy shares early lead; Michelson has rough start

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Rory McIlroy has made another bold statement at the U.S. Open. This time it was with his golf.

McIlroy has become a leading voice on the PGA Tour over the last few years, particularly with his rebuke of the Saudi-funded series that is disrupting golf. His opening round of the U.S. Open was a reminder he’s pretty good at his day job, too. McIlroy kept bogeys off his card until the last hole.

McIlroy made two straight birdies late in his round to become the first player to reach 4 under among early starters, only to miss the ninth green and make his only bogey for a 3-under 67 and a share of the lead with qualifiers Joel Dahmen, David Lingmerth and Callum Tarren.

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson got off to a rough start on his 52nd birthday. He missed the first green from the fairway and started the U.S. Open with a bogey. It really got bad on the par-3 sixth hole when he four-putted from about 18 feet. Mickelson was 5-over par through six holes at the U.S. Open, the only major keeping him from career Grand Slam.

NHL-STANLEY CUP-INJURED AVS

Kadri skates with stick for 1st time since injuring thumb

DENVER (AP) — Injured Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano skated with an assistant coach Thursday, a day after missing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Kadri skated with a stick in his hand for the first time since injuring his right thumb crashing into the boards last round. He did not take any shots in 45 minutes on the ice. Cogliano took a puck to the right hand in Colorado’s series clincher against Edmonton in the Western Conference final. He appears closer to being ready to face the Tampa Bay Lightning than Kadri.

MLB-NEWS

Severino scratched, put on COVID-19 list

UNDATED (AP) — Luis Severino has been scratched from his start for the New York Yankees against Tampa Bay and placed on the COVID-19 injured list. New York said right-hander Clarke Schmidt will replace Severino as its starting pitcher.

Severino is 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA and the 28-year-old right-hander was to have made his 100th career start in the series finale. Schmidt, a 26-year-old right-hander, entered 3-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 11 relief appearances, striking out 15 and walking 10 in 19 1/3 innings.

Left-hander Jalen Beeks was to open for the Rays in place of Drew Rasmussen, who went on the 15-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring.

In other MLB news:

— Two people familiar with the deal tell The Associated Press that Major League Baseball has approved the sale of a minority stake in the Cleveland Guardians to David Blitzer, who also has ownership shares in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. One of the sources says Blitzer will initially have 25% to 30% of the team and will have rights to increase his stake to a controlling interest in several years.

— Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to reach new ballpark deals soon and left open the possibility of considering relocation if agreements are not struck. Tampa Bay’s lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, expires after the 2027 season. The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968, and their lease expires after the 2024 season. The A’s have proposed a new ballpark and are working with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to gain the necessary approvals.

— Minor league games with a pitch clock have averaged 2 hours, 35 minutes this season, down from 3:04 through June 14 last year. It’s an experiment that Major League Baseball is preparing for possible adoption in 2023. However, robot umpires calling balls and strikes are not close to a big league promotion. MLB is considering a 14-second pitch clock with no runners, a 19-second pitch clock with runners, limits on defensive shifts and use of larger bases. A competition committee comprised of six management officials, four union representatives and one umpire was established in the new collective bargaining agreement, and it has the right to make on-field rules changes with 45 days’ notice.

NFL-BROWNS-WATSON INVESTIGATION

All eyes on the NFL’s pending decision on Deshaun Watson

UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns and football fans everywhere are waiting for the NFL to determine an appropriate penalty for star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women. A person familiar with the league’s investigation told The Associated Press a decision is expected before training camp.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing. Once it concludes, former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson will review the league’s findings to decide whether Watson violated the personal conduct policy and whether to discipline him. Robinson was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association.

WNBA-STORM-BIRD RETIRING

WNBA star Sue Bird says 2022 will be her final season

UNDATED (AP) — Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird says the 2022 season will be her last playing in the WNBA.

Thursday’s announcement by the 41-year-old ended any speculation about her future. She acknowledged in February when she re-signed with Seattle that this would likely be her final season.

Bird strongly considered retirement after last season before choosing to return for a 19th season as a player. She missed two seasons because of injuries.

Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, 12-time All-Star and the oldest player in the league. She has spent her entire WNBA career with Seattle since becoming the No. 1 pick in 2002 following her storied college career at UConn.

Categories: National Sports